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Power steering issue

gw33gp

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Does anyone have an idea as to why my steering works normally when turning left and is very hard when turning right? It seems if I turn the steering wheel right very slowly it work better than when trying to turn quickly.

I have never flushed the power steering and intend to try that first.
 


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I would look at the linkage and see if anything is hitting it or laying on it.
 

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Sounds like an internal issue with the rack.
 

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Sounds like your steering went to a liberal arts college.

Slow roll the hood and drop it off on a street corner at 2am. It'll turn hard right by morning.
 

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Does anyone have an idea as to why my steering works normally when turning left and is very hard when turning right? It seems if I turn the steering wheel right very slowly it work better than when trying to turn quickly.

I have never flushed the power steering and intend to try that first.
Check for a pinched hard line.

Have you hit any critters or tire carcasses lately..
 

gw33gp

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I would look at the linkage and see if anything is hitting it or laying on it.
Nothing obvious but I will take a closer look.
 

gw33gp

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Sounds like an internal issue with the rack.
My brother, a professional mechanic, suggested the same thing. I hope it is something else. I have heard the rack is very difficult to replace.
 

gw33gp

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Sounds like your steering went to a liberal arts college.

Slow roll the hood and drop it off on a street corner at 2am. It'll turn hard right by morning.
I am not much into black magic.
 

gw33gp

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Check for a pinched hard line.

Have you hit any critters or tire carcasses lately..
I don't recall anything like that, but I did pack the wheel wells with mud on a Continental Divide Trial trip in June and July. I will take a look at the hard lines.
 

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It is constantly hard to turn right, or will it be on and off. Like if you start turning, is it hard to turn all the way to the lock, or does it get easier the further you turn.

I had an issue with my Grand Marquis (yes, I know different steering setup) where the wheel would be hard to turn, then free up during the course of the turn. I ended up sucking a little power steering fluid out and putting in a little lucas oil power steering fluid stop leak. It has been fine for over a decade. I am not one to band aid problems often, but it worked that time.

The lucas oil may help with the rack. If it came to a choice of repairing the rack or a potential quick fix, you have to decide what you want to do.
 

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My guess is the channel in the valve for turning right is clogged with some gunk. I've seen it before on a steering box.

 

gw33gp

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It is constantly hard to turn right, or will it be on and off. Like if you start turning, is it hard to turn all the way to the lock, or does it get easier the further you turn.

I had an issue with my Grand Marquis (yes, I know different steering setup) where the wheel would be hard to turn, then free up during the course of the turn. I ended up sucking a little power steering fluid out and putting in a little lucas oil power steering fluid stop leak. It has been fine for over a decade. I am not one to band aid problems often, but it worked that time.

The lucas oil may help with the rack. If it came to a choice of repairing the rack or a potential quick fix, you have to decide what you want to do.
It constantly turns hard while turning the steering wheel right. It gets a little easier as the rpm goes up. It is not hard to hold the steering wheel in a static turning situation. I don't feel it much at all when driving at speed, mostly difficult in parking lots or similar situations.

Interesting you mentioned Lucas power steering fluid stop leak. I happened to buy some to see if it would help stop a small leak in my transfer case. I was going to try to add some to my power steering once I flush the fluid some.
 

gw33gp

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My guess is the channel in the valve for turning right is clogged with some gunk. I've seen it before on a steering box.

That is something I keep thinking about. Not know much about how power steering works, I didn't know if there was such a thing as a valve for right and left turns. Your diagram gives me some understanding of how the unit works. Now I just need to figure out where the valves are and see if I can check to see if the right side valve is restricted. Thanks.

BTW, we must tend to think alike. I had a white 89 STX that looked very much like your 89. Mine was an extended cab.
 

gw33gp

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I want to close the book on this thread. I decided to change the power steering pump and all the associated rubber hoses. I also back flushed the right and left side of the steering rack, at least that is what I attempted to do. I did the recommended vacuum bleeding as directed in my Ford Service Manual. Everything went well and there is no whining from the pump.

That improved the steering but it was still a little harder to turn the steering wheel to the right compared to turning left. It was bearable so I just kept driving it that way. Then suddenly about a week after the install, it began to work normally as if it never had a problem. I don't know if something was stuck in the valve or something just freed up from the new ATF in the system. At this point I don't care as long as it keeps working right.

I learned that I need to flush the power steering more often than every 268K miles! Maybe every 100K miles would be good.
 

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The "cage" on the pinion valve has very small passages for the oil to be directed to one feed tube vs another. It could have been clogged with something.

Also all of the steering assist is controlled by flexing a torsion bar in the middle of the pinion valve assembly. They can be balanced wrong when they're not pinned on center, but that isn't something that just comes and goes. It would have been that way from day one.
 
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